It would be easier to sympathise with the prime minister had he not stumbled into a trap of his own making. He was more than happy to play the anti-European card when it suited him, especially when he secured the Tory leadership. Now, in order to maintain British influence in a debate of enormous importance to our future, he expects to be taken seriously by the very people he was so quick to shun for the easy applause of his own backbenchers.
Britain deserves a government which faces up to the challenges we all face and does so with fresh ideas and brave thinking. David Cameron's Tories are just not up to the task.
Today's strikes have been a long time coming and trade unions have had ample opportunity to call them off, but a small number of hardliners are determined to cause disruption to millions of people.
Much of what the Chancellor has said today in his Autumn Statement didn't come as a surprise as it was so well trailed over the weekend. The main announcement that will benefit small businesses will be the National Loan Guarantee, or credit easing scheme.
If you run an SME or indeed are a climate change sceptic you will be very content with the Chancellor's message. If you rely on tax credits or work in the public sector and face several years ahead of below inflation pay agreements - you will not be quite so happy.
Youth unemployment is a tragedy for those affected, a huge loss for society and politically damaging. But the Chancellor knows that the real driver of economic recovery or stagnation is how confident the vast bulk in the middle feel. The problem is he has nothing up his sleeves for them.
Small business may well be hoping for an early Christmas present from Mr Osborne, but just how deep is his Treasury sack? He has a fine line to tread and not much wriggle room in which to do it.
This week's two big domestic events could shape the next few months, and even years, of British politics. They might leave the Conservatives lauded as heroes who steered our economy through troubled waters - or as incompetent ninnies who badly mismanaged tough times. Will George Osborne end up as hero or zero: as Clark Kent or Inspector Clousseau?
As we get closer to the Olympics in 2012, the promised legacy will come under increasing scrutiny.
Rather than trying to use the strikes to distract attention, the Chancellor must make the right choice in the autumn statement. He can plough on regardless with a plan that is hurting, but not working to get the deficit down. Or he can stop blaming everybody else for his own mistakes and change course.
Theresa May's appalling handling of the whole Borders Agency muddle over the last fortnight shows she has a touch of James Murdoch about her.
In Hackney alone, since January there has been a 80.6% rise in young people on the dole for over six months. These figures are not just a challenge for national politicians, they are a personal tragedy for each and every young person affected. George Osborne has to be prepared to rethink his policies. Otherwise the disturbances this summer may be only a foretaste of what is to come from a generation this government seems to have abandoned.
We can't control the eurozone, but we can take responsibility for the management of our own economy. The government has capacity to change course -it is a national tragedy that it is choosing not to.
We cannot afford a million-strong army of young unemployed. As a country, we can choose to avoid the costly errors of the past. This is not a price worth paying.
However hot a potato the issue of fuel duty becomes, for the sake of the rural economy (among many others), today's debate must not be the end of the discussion.
Whilst people are understandably concerned about high petrol and diesel prices, these price increases are not as a consequence of increased taxes.